The electricity in your home may seem like a miracle, but one way to understand it is to think about the variety of skills and job roles it takes to make that power happen. That kind of thinking can also be handy if you or someone you know is looking for a promising career.
Running electric utilities today takes just about every skill imaginable. Some jobs call for the physical ability to climb a utility pole, others the technical know-how to create intricate cybersecurity systems. Some require the interpersonal skills of talking with a co-op member about how they can lower their electric bill, and others use the logistical knowledge to get essential equipment delivered through a challenging supply chain.
An industry that depends on such a vast range of abilities offers job seekers a variety of career opportunities. Careers in Energy Week is Oct. 16-20, 2023. Here are five ways the unique characteristics of electric co-ops make them a great place to work.
You can count on homes and businesses needing electricity now and in the future. One analysis predicts electricity demand will grow faster in the 2020s than it has the previous two decades. Energy careers offer excellent benefits and paths for career advancement. Employees typically stay in the industry for more than 15 years.
The energy industry is changing, and it’s an exciting time to be part of it. Electrification is the centerpiece of the push for greener energy. The number of electric vehicles is doubling every year, which means new workforce skills are needed to figure out how to keep all those cars and trucks fully charged.
Two of the 20 fastest-growing occupations are wind turbine technician and solar voltaic installer. More than $120 billion a year is being spent to modernize the U.S. electric grid to manage new patterns of electricity use.
The education required in the utility industry ranges from advanced college degrees to trade school, apprenticeship and on-the-job training. The range of positions is staggering — accountants, social media managers, IT specialists, engineers, human resources professionals, drone operators to inspect power lines, data analysts to coordinate the flow of electricity and power plant operators to oversee electricity generation.
Service needs to happen nearby. Not only can utility workers make a living and raise a family in their hometown, but they can also decide to move to another part of the country and still have energy career opportunities there as well.
Any lineworker will tell you even when they’ve just climbed down from a pole in the middle of the night during a rainstorm, there’s no better feeling than knowing the power outage you’ve just restored brought light and heat back into the homes of hundreds of people.
The same goes for the team members working alongside them behind the scenes.
The people behind the power at your electric co-op get to know even higher levels of job satisfaction. Electric co-ops offer a business model that’s led by the members who use the electricity. It’s a business with a commitment to improving the quality of life for the local community.